Call for abstracts - workshop on energy & society

Start/Stop Date:
10 Nov 2011
Instituto de Ciências Sociais Universidade de Lisboa
Instituto de Ciências Sociais (University of Lisbon), Lisbon, Portugal
Focus Areas:
Energy & society
Type of Event:

The workshop will be held at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (University of Lisbon), Lisbon, Portugal, on March 22-24, 2012.

Contemporary challenges of climate change, increased global energy demand and depletion of hydrocarbon resources have placed energy issues at the centre of political debate. In this context, it is timely and urgent to address social aspects of energy consumption and production. Yet, to date the social sciences have been slow to respond in addressing the range of important questions and issues regarding energy. This workshop aims to bring together the state-of-the-art research and thinking in this area, providing insights that may contribute to a better understanding of these questions.

Bringing together scholars from Europe and elsewhere that are interested and/or currently working on social aspects of energy issues, this workshop intends to promote the formal constitution of the international network “Energy and Society” founded in 2010 by researchers in this emerging field of study. The workshop also intends to provide an opportunity for researchers to connect with others interested in international research and collaboration in this area.

The event will feature two keynote speeches; one by the distinguished Prof. Harold Wilhite, from the University of Oslo, and the other by a representative of a European Union Directorate General to be announced at a later date. In addition to four panels of regular paper presentations, the program will include a round table, with the presence of the DG leader from the EU, where all the participants (whether presenting a paper or simply attending the workshop) may present themselves and their research interests. The workshop will also include small-group meetings to allow participants the opportunity to interact on common research interests and collaborations.

We encourage submissions on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to the following:

  • Energy and social change
  • Energy, practices and everyday life
  • Social differentiation and energy (gender, age, class…)
  • Energy efficiency, conservation and “behavioral lock-in” (habits, socio-technical system…)
  • Sustainable energy, consumption and development
  • Transition processes, movements and local communities
  • Social dimensions of renewable energy
  • Energy-related conflicts (land use, resources…)
  • Energy-related perceptions and representations
  • Social construction and cultural meanings of energy
  • Knowledge and information on energy
  • Media messages on energy (advertising, news, entertainment…)
  • Public engagement with energy policy (cap and trade, green certificates, labels, incentives…)
  • Elaboration, implementation, evaluation of energy policies
  • Practices, technologies, material structures and innovation
  • Market instruments and commoditization of resources
  • Energy poverty
  • Energy justice, inequalities and vulnerability

Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes with additional time for comments and questions.
Interested participants are invited to submit abstracts of approx 250 words and a short biography (150 words, including current research interests). All abstracts should be written in English. Abstracts should be sent as a MS Word attachment to

The attachment should include: abstract title; author’s name and affiliation; short biography of author; abstract. Please indicate “Abstract submission” in the subject line of your e-mail. The deadline for abstract submission is 10 November, 2011.

Notification of acceptance of abstract proposals will occur no later than December, 15. All accepted presenters and participants simply attending the workshop can register by sending an e-mail to the workshop organizers. The registration deadline is January 31, 2012.

All participants will be required to pay a workshop registration fee of 30€ (50€ with dinner on the second day). The fee includes workshop materials, participation certificate and coffee breaks. Payments will be accepted on-site.

We look forward to your submission and participation in the workshop!

Program Committee:
Luisa Schmidt, Universidade de Lisboa - Instituto de Ciências Sociais (Portugal)
Ana Horta, Universidade de Lisboa - Instituto de Ciências Sociais (Portugal)
Pia Laborgne, IWAR/TU Darmstadt and European Institute for Energy Research (Germany)
Françoise Bartiaux, Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Giorgio Osti, Università degli Studi di Trieste - Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali (Italy)
André Schaffrin, University of Cologne (Germany)
Cigdem Adem, Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
Catherine Butler, Cardiff University - School of Psychology (UK)

Important dates:
Paper submission: November 10, 2011
Notification of acceptance: December 15, 2011
Registration: January 31, 2012
Workshop: March 22-24, 2012

Contact for submission, information and registration:
Ana Horta
Instituto de Ciências Sociais
Universidade de Lisboa
R. Prof. Anibal de Bettencourt, 9
1600-189 Lisboa – Portugal
Tel.: 00 351 217804700